I'm Jan, I live in the North of England with my lovely family; one husband and two delightful (most of the time) kids.I'm a buyer for a UK retailer, but spend my spare time reading and writing. And then any other spare time I spend online! I'm a moderator here at MNFF and have been known to beta read occasionally!.
I have one novel-length fic up (The Daughter of Light) and am currently working on its sequel, The Severed Souls. It wasn't supposed to be about my OC and Snape, but they ended up taking over! I've also got a few one-shots up and copious amounts of poetry.
Alan. You are not lost. You live on in our words.
Well this was a short but sweet introduction to your fic. I liked the location of The Burrow and the fact you managed to bring the Dursley’s in, even just as a passing reference. It’s difficult to say, with such a short chapter, whether they are in character but I certainly don’t think they are out of character so you’re off to a good start there. I really loved Ginny’s line about denying Sirius’ right to choose. I think choice is an important theme in the books and it’s good to see it brought up here. I thought you managed to get the balance right between a Harry racked with angst and a Harry who is grieving but not sinking completely into a pit of despair. The fact that this explosion of grief seems to be a release seems to indicate that once he’s got it off his chest he will perhaps feel a lot better. And of course there is a sniff of romance with Ginny coming up, which should take his mind of it! There were a few things that I found that could be changed; Apparated was spelt incorrectly, you used the word window an awful lot in the opening sentences, I would vary that just so the reader doesn’t feel you are repeating yourself and in this sentence “Harry stared out the window gloomily.” I would change it to read “Harry stared gloomily out of the window”. It reads a little bit better. Apart from that I thought it was a nice introduction with enough to bring the reader back for the next chapter.
Author's Response: *blushes* Yeah, my first chapter is filled with mistakes. Actually, many of my chapters are full of mistakes. I assume the multiple window mentionings are due to my trying to make my chapter longer and not proofreading it well. I'll go fix them;) Thank you for the criticism. All to often, people are just satisfied with telling me that it's okay, but I prefer to know what I should fix. Gives me something to do while the mods update my chapters!
Author's Response: I fixed it!
Ah I like how you very cleverly made that clarification with the timeturner, that bit makes perfect sense now so well done. There is so much great detail in this chapter and I love that study... I really wish when I open my wardrobe I had one of those to disappear into. LOL
We are seeing lots of little touches about Ginny and her pregnancy that really bring home her situation and make it very real. I loved the description of the bedroom when Petunia first entered it, the pram being there really made me do a double-take. Just why would there be a pram in Harry's room? And then all becomes clear. You're moving along at a really good pace with a geat balance of emotion, description and action. Can't wait to get my hands on Chapter six.
Author's Response: Your comments really helped me tighten up the writing, I'm glad you like what I've done with it. I just hope the readers don't hate me too much once they discover that I've sent "poor" Ginny to the Dursleys. Thank-you for your wonderful reviews and have fun with chapter six!
Well you already know I think you have a wonderful story started here! You've kept Ginny very human and although she's generally tough you have managed to convey her vulnerability really well. Percy is well written and Dumbledore is perfectly in character...a mixture of wisdom and almost paternal concern. And poor Harry! Being kept in the dark about his future child. Needless to say I am proud to Beta this story. :-)
Author's Response: *sniffs* Thanks!
The one thing that shines out from your story is the humanity. So often stories get involved with action and suspense and forget the personalities involved. For me the attraction of this story is the depth of understanding for the characters. You seem to have an instinctive touch for how they are all feeling and that really comes through. I know how it feels to have a difficult, emotional pregnancy and feel isolated at the same time and this is a good reflection of that. And of course you have some great ideas...the deserted burrow and Percy's sudden disapointment was very poignant and Remus and Harry getting drunk was inspired..one of my favourite scenes and a good depiction of Harry's transformation into an adult.
SNAPE: (dryly) He was also fictional. DUMBLEDORE: So? Pause, as they all consider the profundity of Dumbledore's answer. That's an excellent line. I can just imagine the three of them sitting there contemplating their own fictional status.
Very funny opener! I love the biogs, you have captured each of the characters well within a short space and the writing just reminds me of all those theatre programmes I have read over the years. :-)
This is still very funny, I was laughing out loud at poor Colin and his camera. It reminds me of evey AmDram performance I have ever seen...and Ron with his pimp costume is comedy genius. LOL.
Argh!!! Typo alert.
I raise my hand without even realising, now burning with despise for Malfoy.
Despise needs to be hatred or some other grammatically correct word. Bad beta!
In other news, I just spent £55 on a Zidane replica shirt... you think hubby will kill me? *stops spamming Laura's reviews**giggles*
Author's Response: *snorts* My grandma wants to know why I am laughing. Will she understand? Probably not. I\'ve been throwing invisible darts at invisible customers since I clocked off at 8, and so to have me suddenly burst into laughter was strange. Anyhoo - no, your husband tolerated the bible, the zillion AR CD\'s, and the shipping order of MNff merchandise. Chances are, he\'ll tolerate this. Thanks for caring so much about my grammar. *huggles* You\'re a brilliant beta!
Here's your birthday review! :-) You already know my views on this chapter which is the downside of being a beta and reviewing, you end up repeating yourself. I love the bug! Anyone with children will recognise Lily's mixture of horror and amusement. The tension is racked up in this episode but it's different. It's an emotional tension and your interpretation of Lily is so heartbreaking. I found the fact that she unintentionally wished Harry's fate on Neville was so perfect and yet so disturbing. Any mother would put her child first but it doesn't make it any easier to read. You are doing a fabulous job with this and I can't wait to get my hands on the next chapter. It's wonderful to read so much honest emotion in a fic...well done!
Author's Response: Thank you! Your feedback regarding this chapter was so valuable and really helped me fine-tune my sticky parts! I'm glad you liked the bug kiss! I've actually seen that happen.
You managed to inject so much tension and terror into that chapter that my heart was in my mouth! The pacing was really good...throughout all the fear Lily's love for Harry and James shone through, she was more afraid for them than she was for herself. I found one of the most poignant things was Lily worrying about Harry's future if anything happened to them. How would she have reacted if she had known he would end up with Petunia? You have a lovely style, very poignant with a great attention to detail. It is nice to see, as another reviewer said, Lily the mother. She is explored as a companion for James but seldom as a mother...and even more seldom in such a sensitive manner.
Author's Response: Thank you, Magical Maeve! I really appreciate your taking the time to review. I guess now you know what "things" James was referring to. :) Thank you for your comments about Lily. It pleases me to know that people really like her as a mother in this chapter.
This is such a wonderfully emotional opening chapter. You have set the scene so well with Lily in her garden waiting for James, it mixes domescticity with the rather perilous world they are living in. You have managed really well to convey the sense of longing and hope the new baby will bring to a world that, for them, is very uncertain. Of course knowing, as we do, their fate it just makes this story all the more poignant. Your descriptions are well observed, you have no problems with dialogue and spelling and grammar seems on order. I noticed a few things but they were so inconsequential I've forgotten what they were. There are a few American spellings in there but I don't know if you are too worried about that. :-) Can't you tell I am desperately trying to find something to pick up on....it's just too good. Looking forward to the rest of this unfolding. Well done.
Author's Response: Thank you Magical Maeve! I worked really hard on this chapter and it was stewing for three or four months before I finally got around to posting it. I originally planned to post it on MNI, but that never happened and probably never will. I don't regret it because I've gotten such nice reviews here. Thanks for taking the time to stop and review. :)
Pure class! Love the image of Lucius fretting about Voldemort overdoing it on the sugar. Internet scam was inspired and I love the image of Voldemort crayoning on the floor. It had me laughing from start to finish.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you very much - the next chapter has been submitted. YAY!
Two words...Comic genius. Okay so it will have to be more than two words....I read that Barry Trotter parody book ages ago...well actually I read the first few pages and thought...this isn't funny. But this... this is funny, very funny. Voldemort gets junk mail and the poor postie tries to swap shifts, Him and Harry share a marshmallow addiction, everyone is so perfectly in character in a parody version of themselves. Who knew humour fics could be this funny. Brilliant job...bring on the next chapter! And 'we strike at dawn'... brilliant!
Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm going to blow up "comic genius" and put it over my bed. Stick with Barry Trotter, it gets much funnier. I know what you mean though, some parts of it are kind of boring...(like my next chapter - whoops). I'm so glad you enjoyed all those things, it really means so much to me. I've just posted the next chapter - I don't think it's as funny so much as it's necessary...but I hope you like it!
You have some great ideas here and do a wonderful job of creating atmosphere. I like the sound of your OC, nice and mysterious with a world weary edge to her... despite her young age. Just watch your phrasing, in some places it's a bit clumsy but it doesn't really detract from the whole... which is very good indeed. Looking forward to reading your next chapter!
Amazing. Very, very funny....a convincingly drunken Harry, Snape with a cue in his hand, Marge married to someone called Fannywhacke and all written so well. Thank you for such a great one-shot!
Author's Response: Thank YOU for popping over to "Potter's Bar" and leaving me feedback. (I thought a great big Mr. Fannywhacke was exactly what Aunt Marge deserved) Cheers!
Fantastic start! An OC with a huge amount of potential and you write so well. The next chapters are going to be a real treat to read.
Author's Response: Thank you for stopping by for a read!
Don't worry about backstory...backstory is what makes it interesting, especially when it's handled this well. The way you wrote her father was excellent, you could feel his disappointment and it has gone a long way to explaining her lack of confidence. And the part about the entrance was very humourous, nice to see it isn't just Ron and Harry that can make a grand entrance.
Author's Response: Cheers for your lovely, insightful comments!
Brilliant! Snape's wonderfully in character and oozing personality all over the place and I thought the whisps of smoke were a great touch.
Author's Response: Thank you! So glad you are still enjoying...and "oozing personality all over the place" is a spot-on tongue-in-cheek description of the dear Potions master!
Wow, what a great scene setter you are. There was so much detail in this chapter that I could perfectly visualise Hermione's flat. I enjoyed your characterisations of the slightly older Harry and Hermione, they seem to have matured nicely whilst Harry retains a few of his uncertainties. It was good to see how characters we know from the books are doing and I could be convinced by Ron and Parvati. Some of my favourite bits..Hermione and harry's observation that she could be beautiful if she tried, I liked how this gives Hermione the choice. I also love the scene with the 101 positions book, that was so well written. I could feel the heat from Haryy's cheeks. Throughout the whole chapter I thought you racked up the sexual tension between the two of them really well right up until the end when we had the will they won't they moment... that was great. So Ron is going to be a rich Quidditch player, well good for him! He deserves some of the limelight. I smiled at the part with Pig being typically Pig, that was a very good obervation. Your grammar and spelling is very good overall and I found nothing to distract from the smooth flow of the story, which moved along at a nice, steady pace. You have a nice mix of dialogue and descriptions that make for an interesting read. I'll fly through a few of the things I did pick up, they are mainly Americanisms. Downtown is not really something we have an equivalent for, it's either inner city or on the fringes.Apartment building would be block of flats, Soda machine would be Drinks machine, bus tables is not a phrase we use but you could get away with waiting tables, two times would be twice. Butterbeer is all one word, Muggle is capitalised, Hermione would spend time on her hair not with it, either should be neither in a section of hermione's speech and you have a jerk in there that would be better as idiot or something similar. Apart from that..and that's not much considering it is a long, satisfying chapter...your writing is great. I look forward to reading more.
Author's Response: Wow, Maeve! Thanks for the great review! I really appreciate all the detail you went it to. You took almost as much time to write that review as I did the chapter! Okay, maybe not, but I still really appreciate all the thought you put into it! Yes, I will stand up in court and admit to the Americanisms. I actually had some one "Britpick" my first couple chapters, I just haven't gotten around to fixing those things that were pointed out; many of the same things you did. I try very hard not to sound too American when I write Harry Potter stories, but being American...it isn't the easiest thing to do. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a in depth review, its really appreciated!
What a moving start to the fic. It raises a lot of interesting questions and sets the scene well. I liked the way we see the baby Remus having his future decided for him and you've created a good set of characters to work with.
My only teeny, tiny problem (well its not a problem really) is with the name Krystal....I'm old enough to remember Dynasty and the name just reminds me of it! But that's just me and its nothing really.
Well done, its a great start.
Author's Response: I've heard Dynasty before but since I am an Al My Children fan I got the name from there. There is this character named Arabella who is around twenty something that they call Babe and her mother is this really great character named Krystal. Thank you so much for the review.